Sunday, September 28, 2008

Check it out y'all; Inner Piece turns 1

The original blog turned 1 last week. I'm guessing from the lack of fanfare that you forgot as well. Take a look at the latest postings here. Also see an experiment which may go away soon, here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Giving it all away

I wrote a post a while back where I commented on how I had more stuff to give away than many people had at all. That's still totally true. My excess would not necessarily have me featured in an intervention episode on Oprah, but it was stealing from me in tiny ways that I didn't realize until I moved. In the period between the removal of all but the essentials from one place and my arrival here, I was really in great spirits and felt that the world was limitless. The moment all that crap came flooding back into my life, it was a tether. A tether to this apartment, a tether to all the extraneous possessions that had to find a place in my life here and more importantly, a place in my significantly downsized surroundings.

Of all the determinations I had at the start of the year, I've probably been the most consistent with my determination to pare down. The move (which was also a determination--I'm not doing so bad!), has been helpful in this regard. I've been down on myself of late, feeling that I moved, hopeful and excited, into a bustling city with tons to do, great places to eat and managed still to replicate my existence from D.C. to here in less than a month. Wake, feed dog, walk dog, pick up dog poop, prevent dog from fighting with or mounting passing dogs, go to work, go home, feed dog, walk dog, pick up dog poop, prevent dog from fighting with or mounting passing dogs, eat something, play on computer, go to sleep late. Lather, rinse, repeat.

So I'm challenging myself to find something fun to do tonight--preferably free, as the move has also pared down my spending since the bank is still expecting money for my vacant house and the people here, nice as they are, did not warm to the idea of allowing me to live here for free. Wish me luck.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A few quick notes

Those of you (yes, you MN) following both the blog and the links on the left will note that Burnside is no longer on there. I'm pretty sure no one would have noticed but I'm bringing it up because I want to say something about it. When I first stumbled on to this site, thanks to a much over-hyped and merely adequate book, Blue Like Jazz, I counted it as the book's true blessing. It was full of real live Christians that somehow also managed to be real people that you could identify with, people who asked questions, had fun, liked "inappropriate" things, and sometimes provided stellar insight into an issue that excited me. It was believers of many walks. I didn't agree with their treatment of some topics--race, for example (I found it to be patronizing), but still, these were people I thought I could have a beer with and have an honest discussion about faith.

Like all of us, they've been going through some changes and the changes bother me in ways I'm inadequate to articulate. Plainly, I think their ambition has clouded their vision. I'm completely making this up but I imagine that like all us would-be-writers, they felt that desire to share their work with even more people. At the core of that, I believe, is either a need for validation or recognition. They are changing into something we already have and in the process, losing the thing I loved about Burnside, its irreverence. It has become politicized in that horrible insincere way that occurs when religion and politics intersect. And so, I have removed them from my site because I don't want it to be assumed we're of the same mind on these things. I still read them everyday and today was a return to some irreverence but if the political posts are indicative of the direction of the site...well as sure as they'll lament and grieve my lack of patronage, still I will have to let them go.

Speaking of changes, I tried for a little while to write more topically and less blatant on-line therapy. I hoped it would be more popular (hah) and maybe even broaden the appeal outside of people who know me personally and want to know who IBC or Rock Star are. But I need therapy so we shall return back to my core blogging topics; me and how I feel about me. I might rename the blog to something more accurate like, Self-involvement 101, but expect it to pick up some of the heavy wet blanket of the original recipie.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I love surprises. I love the thoughtfulness of someone who wants to surprise me, the care they take in their subterfuge. I, like practically everyone, dread unpleasant surprises. Today I got a surprise of the latter variety. It's been a long time since I've taken any sustained time off and not worked or done stuff around the house or simply been ill so it was with great anticipation that I was looking forward to some time at the beach with very dear friends of mine. I picked a time that would not overlap with their other guests (family) who had a dog that mine did not get along with and arranged everything so that there would be minimal disruption and maximum down time. Today I called and after getting directions, after everything, at the very tail end of the conversation, she drops the bomb; her family isn't leaving. I'm still so disappointed I could cry. I love her family and and I love her but not giving me that information until the very last minute was wrong. I was looking forward to some down time, now I will be after my dog the entire time (which won't be fun for her), tense for some dog fight that will be unpleasant for everyone. I don't know how long she's known about this but I'm sure she's not been in a hurry to tell me. So now her difficult task is mine, do I go and make everyone else miserable and tense or do I stay and disappoint her? I feel like I'm essentially asking her to chose me or her family which isn't the case--not even a little bit. The issue is that I made decisions and plans based on circumstances that are no longer applicable. I hope she'll forgive me but I just don't want to do this, it's just too much at a time when I don't want anything else.

So I'm thinking, would a lie be better here than the truth? Lies are harder and I don't care for them, perhaps because I don't do it very well. But the truth here seems to serve me more than it serves her. If I tell her something came up at work then she'll likely suspect that I'm lying and that will chip away at the trust of a person who doesn't extend it easily. But if I tell her the truth, it will hurt her and that too, could erode some of the trust of our relationship. I don't know what to do.

One thing is for sure--I've got to get out of here, away from it all for a little time. I had been okay knowing that a break was coming but with the break I thought was coming off the table, it will wither me to press on.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Stories Chapter 2: Jonathan

Jonathan approached me today while I was out walking my dog. Jonathan is homeless with a self-reported "history of addiction" and he walked with me for a half hour this morning, finally leaving, mumbling and cursing a little after I gently told him that it would be disrespectful to my boyfriend if I were to go on a date with him that afternoon at 4 o'clock. At first he understood but then he came back at me explaining that if he had a daughter who was dating someone who had not "put a ring on her finger," then she would be free to see anyone she wanted until her boyfriend committed to her. Then he provided another scenario wherein my boyfriend comes to me after I've wasted 5 years of my life with him and tells me he met someone else--another reason why I should forget the boyfriend and come on a date with him.

I saw another dog in the area and went to say hello as he had a large out of control yellow lab and I was looking to shake Jonathan so I could go home without him accompanying me there. Now, I know I'm a little worse for wear in the morning and I'm certainly not dressed to impress but I think this a-hole thought we were together and abruptly announced that he had to leave and left me with Jonathan. The more I think about it, the more pissed I become. It gets worse every time I think about it. There's no assumption that he could have made that I wouldn't take exception to. Jonathan and I together, trying to scam him or ask him for money; pissed. Me hopelessly trying to shake a strange man and him not wanting to get involved; unacceptable and I'm pissed. I want to buy and sell the bastard for assuming that we were together. I want to buy new clothes so Jonathan doesn't think I'd be interested in where to get free coffee (and possibly free doughnuts) on Saturdays at 8 am (AA meeting). I don't take it personally if Jonathan thought I was homeless--I actually don't think he did, he was a little addled, he asked my name several times (of course I didn't give him a real name) and was in a disjointed stream of consciousness mode our entire walk. He was very unhappy with my boyfriend's lack of commitment, alternately loved animals and then talked about killing them, and just unpredictable enough to be slightly worrisome.

To her great credit and innate intelligence my wonder dog remained vaguely sinister, providing Jonathan no clues as to whether she would bite him or lean into him for some loving. I'm convinced she knew I was ill at ease. At one point during our walk, Jonathan complimented my teeth. Weird (and a first) but it lends support to my theory that perhaps he was trying to hook up with the new homeless girl. I thought what I was wearing was practical if unflattering but my jokes about how I look in the morning are quite ironic in light of today's events.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Stories: Chapter 1

After years of telling these stories to my friends, I'm going to attempt to convey them here. These stories are the vignettes of my "dating" life that serve to both illustrate my stunning ability to draw strange men and explain my persistently single status. We'll warm up with Metro (I give all my guys names).

I met Metro at the final stop of the train I was taking home from a night out. He worked at the station and started talking to me as I was walking out to my car. I try always to be at least courteous to strange men as I don't want to provoke them by being rude. Then he told me that I looked like I used to work out.

I know. I didn't know what to do with that either. Just to be sure I didn't misunderstand him, he pointed out that all I really needed was to tighten up my stomach. To be fair, he said he needed to do the same thing. I was simply stunned. The thought bubble over my head would have read, "has that ever worked for you? telling a girl she's fat and then helpfully suggesting which areas she should concentrate on?" But it was true and I was stunned/intrigued by a guy who would do that and then ask for my number. Plus, as further stories will illustrate, these are all strange men and it's quicker to give them a number than it is to argue or discuss not giving them my number. He did call a few times but I never saw him again. I'm sure he's somewhere, doing crunches, perhaps with the love of his life holding his feet down and sucking in her gut.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Unpacking continues

Today is a little better as I have managed to get through all the boxes in the living room and even complete some anal-retentive tasks like arranging all of my CD's and DVD's by color. I have one more room of box-emptying to do and the decision I have before me is whether to get on the road back to Virginia now to collect my dog and the remainder of my possessions or wait until later tonight. Gripping stuff, I know.

In other random news, I have made a few unpleasant discoveries about my new abode and new city. On the abode, I discovered that my Barbie-sized washer will not even accommodate the mattress pad for my bed, which led me to some unpleasant discoveries about my new city. I went online searching for dry-cleaners on a local site. In the discussion threads were several posts about muggings and robberies that have taken place in the last two weeks mere blocks from my current residence. So last night, venturing out for dinner, I was much more coiled to unfurl ninja on anybody who had a mind to test me.

When I haven't been unpacking, despairing, napping, or eating, I've been enjoying a great discussion on Burnside. It's a great blog. I haven't looked at the latest issue of their e-zine but they are in a period of transition as well, revamping format, content, and focus. Of the two endeavors, I've enjoyed the blog the most--the articles I've read have been a very standard examination of the typical social issues. The editors corner has been about the only consistent visit I make to the site. Those who are interested, can check it out here.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Let's get depressed

When I saw Amos Lee at the 930 club years ago, he said the title of this post after a mournful song which he was set to follow with another. Check out the latest melancholy posts here. Running through my head right now is a lyric from "Miss Ohio" by Gillian Welch that goes, 'I wanna do right but not right now.'

Oh, and please check out the poll on the left and vote. I just want to get an idea for how many people come to the site. That 1 vote, that's me and it won't let me vote over and over again.